Monday, September 27, 2004

Innovations, Metrics, and Emergence

by Asim Jalis

1. While incremental improvements are the recipe for real innovations, the world recognizes and rewards breakthroughs. So create breakthrough incrementally. 2. Idea from Senge: Share information about your innovations. This creates an open market for innovations. It lets you to take advantage of the natural competitiveness among potential partners by making you equally available for collaboration with all of them. 3. Metrics define systems. Simple example: accounting systems define how overheads are calculated and which products are pursued. 4. Nature measure yes/no. It's a boolean metric. On yes the neuron fires; on no, it does not. Natural systems do not used finely calibrated metrics. But they do use metrics. The metrics are simple yes/no metrics and so some people mistakenly assume there are no metrics. 5. TDD does not work well in creating a program from scratch. Begin the program by writing a quick procedural 10 line hack. And then refactor and refine it in a TDD style. 6. An interesting example of Big Design Upfront: The US constitution. The founding fathers spend considerable time hashing it out, instead of just letting the right rules emerge. And yet the framework is clearly designed for emergence.